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Personal Finance Gold

6 Best Online Gold Dealers

Updated Feb 15, 2024   |   13-min read

Throughout history, gold has been considered a haven for investors in times of crisis and economic turmoil. This makes gold a compelling investment for diversifying a portfolio, hedging against inflation and currency depreciation, and preserving wealth.

Owning physical gold can be a smart way to achieve these goals and may be preferable to buying gold stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or mutual funds if you plan to hold it for the long term.

Online gold dealers make it easy to purchase high-quality physical gold and have it shipped to your home or stored elsewhere. However, with so many companies selling gold and reports of counterfeit gold being sold online, it’s important to work with a reputable gold dealer you can trust.

Reviews of the best online gold dealers

Here are our picks for the best online gold dealers based on reputation, track record, customer reviews, available resources and support, and scores with consumer rating agencies.

Best overall: American Hartford Gold

  • Over $1 billion of precious metals delivered with thousands of satisfied customers
  • Up-to-the-minute pricing on metals
  • Metals shipped in non-descript packaging for privacy

About the company

Founded in 2015, American Hartford Gold is a family-owned company in Los Angeles, California. The company offers gold and silver coins and bars for sale and a precious metals IRA.

American Hartford Gold has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and 4.9 out of 5 stars with more than 900 customer reviews on TrustPilot as of January 18, 2022.

Educational information and tools for precious-metals investors are available online, including a free gold and silver information guide, interactive charts, informative articles, market news, and commentary.

What kind of precious metals are sold?

American Hartford Gold offers a wide selection of gold and silver coins and bars of different weights and origins; many are eligible for purchase in its precious metals IRA.

Does American Hartford Gold offer storage for my metals?

The company will ship your metals to a storage facility you select. It may suggest a facility; however, you have the final say of where your precious metals are stored.

Pros

  • Excellent customer reviews

  • 7-day satisfaction guarantee

  • Family-owned and operated

  • Experienced leadership

  • Robust customer education resources available online

Cons

  • Must call a representative for pricing

  • No guaranteed buyback program (though it does buy back metals and recommend customers reach out to see if it’s available)


Best for platinum and palladium: Oxford Gold Group

  • Excellent customer ratings
  • Inventory includes gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars
  • Wide variety of educational resources

About the company

Los Angeles–based Oxford Gold Group has been in business since 2017 and offers gold and silver individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars.

It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a 4.8 out of 5 on TrustPilot, based on customer reviews as of January 17, 2022.

Oxford Gold Group provides educational resources and support for investors of all levels. It’s easy to get started with a free, downloadable precious metals investment guide.

There’s also a comprehensive online course, deep-dive articles, explainer videos, and a robust online learning center.

What kind of precious metals are sold?

In addition to gold and silver IRAs, Oxford Gold Group sells gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars in various weights from several countries.

Does Oxford Gold Group offer storage for my metals?

Metals held in an IRA are stored in an IRS-approved precious metals depository in Wilmington, Delaware, or Salt Lake City, Utah until you’re ready to take distributions from your account.

Pros

  • Excellent customer reviews

  • Some gold IRA customers receive a storage fee rebate, depending on account size

  • Offers home delivery and secure storage

  • Experienced staff, robust resources, and support

  • Inventory includes gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars

Cons

  • Must fill out an online form or call for pricing

  • The minimum purchase amount for free shipping is $10,000


Best risk-free guarantee: Lear Capital

  • Allows up to 24 hours for you to review your order and cancel without any fees
  • Pricing is displayed on its website
  • Minimum purchase of $1,500 for free shipping
  • Talk to a representative at (888) 476-6140

About the company

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Lear Capital has been in business since 1997. The company offers a precious metals IRA and sells gold, silver, and platinum coins and bars. Lear Capital is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and AAA by the Business Consumer Alliance.

Lear Capital offers a free app on Apple and Android called Lear Gold and Silver Daily that provides real-time spot prices for gold and other precious metals.

Customers can also purchase bullion, research numismatic rare coins, and sell coins, including consignments and auctions.

What kind of precious metals are sold?

The company sells gold, silver, and platinum coins and bars, listed by country of origin (American or “World”) and metal type.

Does Lear Capital offer storage for my metals?

Lear offers storage for metals held in self-directed IRAs through the Delaware Depository.

Pros

  • 24 years of business and over $3 billion in transactions

  • 24-hour risk-free guarantee

  • Free app and educational information for investors

  • Pricing is displayed on its website for some metals

  • Inventory includes gold, silver, and platinum coins and bars

Cons

  • Not all metals have pricing displayed


Best metal descriptions: Noble Gold

  • Excellent descriptions of each metal it offers
  • Easy site navigation
  • Offers a buyback program for clients

About the company

Noble Gold has been in business for over six years. The company’s primary business is self-directed precious metals IRAs; gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars are also offered for sale.

The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It offers both home delivery and secure storage options.

What kind of precious metals are sold?

Noble Gold sells gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins for home delivery or to hold in a precious metals IRA. Its inventory includes bullion coins, exclusive coins, proof coins, and IRA-eligible coins.

Pros

  • Excellent descriptions of each metal sold

  • Sells gold, silver, platinum, and palladium

Cons

  • You must call to receive pricing information


Best benefits program: APMEX

  • Eligible orders can be shipped within one business day
  • Has a benefits program for those who make repeat purchases

About the company

APMEX has been in business for 23 years and offers a large collection of precious metals. Unlike other companies on this list, it doesn’t have great customer reviews.

What kinds of precious metals are sold?

APMEX sells gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars.

Pros

  • Large inventory of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium

  • Offers a benefits program for repeat purchases

  • Metals can be shipped within one business day

  • Pricing is available online

Cons

  • Poor customer reviews on Trustpilot


Best buy-back program: Goldco

  • Guarantees that it will buy back metals at the highest available price
  • Excellent customer reviews

About the company

Goldco has been in business for 16 years while offering the ability to purchase gold and silver coins and bars. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and excellent ratings on Trustpilot.

What kinds of precious metals are sold?

Goldco sells gold and silver coins and bars.

Pros

  • Guarantees that it will buy back metals at the highest price

  • Excellent customer reviews

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer platinum or palladium


What is a gold dealer?

Gold dealers typically sell investment-grade bullion, coins, bars, and other forms of gold online or at a physical location. They may also offer other precious metals for sale and often provide self-directed precious metals IRAs.

You can generally compare metals prices from multiple dealers and make an informed decision based on factors such as price transparency, selection, and customer service.

Most dealers offer secure home delivery or the option to store your metals in an insured depository, especially if you hold them in an IRA. (The IRS requires that metals held in an IRA be stored in a secure vault.)

Dealers often carry insurance that covers the metals they store for customers. Many also offer insurance on metals shipped to your home.

You may be able to sell your metals to a gold dealer if they offer this service.

Can I buy gold from multiple online dealers?

The short answer is yes. You can purchase from multiple online gold dealers. You could also theoretically buy from one dealer and sell to another; however, the price competition in this space is fierce, so you might find it difficult to make a profit.

Not all gold dealers are created equal, so it’s important to do your homework before doing business with them.

Evaluate them based on reputation, pricing transparency, customer and third-party reviews, ratings with the Better Business Bureau and similar agencies, and whether they have a physical address (yes, that matters, too).

Some gold dealers offer perks for repeat customers, such as periodic promotions like free storage, no-fees-for-life with specific account minimums, or affiliate or referral programs.

Where can I store the gold that I purchase?

Generally, you can either have your metals delivered directly to you, or you can have a third party store them in a depository. There are benefits and drawbacks to each.

If you take possession of your gold, you might store it in a “safe” place (what that means is up to you), such as the back of your closet or in an old coffee can in the cupboard.

The downside is that, if your home gets robbed, the thieves will have an easier time getting access to and stealing your gold or other metals you may have hidden there.

You might also invest in a safe to store your gold at home. It should be fireproof and waterproof to protect your metals from natural disasters. Also, the bigger, the better. A larger safe is more likely to deter would-be robbers.

Another storage option is a safety deposit box at the bank. It may be more secure than your home; however, you’ll pay a fee for the added peace of mind.

The cost often depends on the size of the safety deposit box and the bank and its geographical location. Fees range from $15 to $500 a year.

Finally, you could store your metals at a depository, an option provided by most trusted gold and silver coin dealers. Many people store their gold, silver, and other precious metals this way, so you can be confident that these facilities are well guarded.

Depository storage fees vary. They generally run a few hundred dollars a year, depending on the value of your assets.

If physical possession of your metals doesn’t matter to you, then storing them in a depository may be your safest bet.

What should I watch for when purchasing gold online?

It’s important to be aware of potential scams when choosing an online gold dealer. That said, buying gold online is safe as long as you purchase from a dealer with a good reputation and track record.

Watch out for fake gold, which is often a common metal coated in a thin layer of gold. Alternatively, a scammer might not deliver the amount you ordered, might disappear entirely, or might promise to deliver the rest of your order if you pay an additional shipping fee, for example.

Dealers may also artificially inflate prices. As a result, metals prices can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You can protect yourself by doing your research beforehand to learn what you’re purchasing and from whom.

The best companies will take the time to get to know you and your investing goals and explain the best options for you. They sell high-quality bullion and coins and have an impeccable reputation based on consumer rating agencies and customer reviews.

The best online gold dealers will also help you understand how and why metals prices fluctuate and partner with you to make sure you invest only in what you can afford. You shouldn’t feel pressured to buy or to finance your purchase.

Is it better to buy bars or coins?

New gold investors often ask whether they should buy coins or bars. It depends on your situation, preferences, and budget. The following are some key differences to consider.

Gold barsGold coins
Come in multiple sizes and weightsWide selection and variety available
Suitable for almost any budgetIdeal for trading and exchanging
Cost less to hold for the long termLower market risk
Less expensive to manufactureRelatively easy to sell
Lower premium than gold coinsHighly liquid
Less portability and flexibilityEasily portable
May be more difficult to resellCollectible

What causes the price of gold to fluctuate?

While gold can be a sound investment that holds its value over time, investors often don’t understand how gold prices are determined.

Unlike stocks, for example, gold isn’t influenced by the performance of outside entities. Its price is based on its intrinsic value, which may rise or fall in response to economic instability or geopolitical uncertainty.

Gold’s price is the same worldwide; however, it is converted into local currencies, so participants can purchase gold priced in line with their specific currency.

Other factors also determine the price of gold:

  • Fluctuations in the U.S. dollar: When the dollar declines in value, demand for gold often rises, along with its price.
  • Natural disasters and pandemics: These events typically reduce gold production; therefore, its price increases. The uncertainty also creates additional demand for gold as investors seek a flight to safety.
  • The volume of gold mined: The more gold mined, generally the less expensive it is. Alternatively, perceived scarcity in the gold supply tends to increase the price.

What other options do I have for investing in gold?

There are other ways to invest in gold beyond buying the physical metal, including mining stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Here’s how they work:

  • Mining stocks: You invest in the stocks of companies that mine gold. The price is tied to the company, not the value of the gold itself.Some popular gold mining stocks include AngloGold Ashanti Limited (AU) and Gold Fields Limited (GFI).
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds: ETFs are traded on exchanges that mirror the underlying value of their assets. Gold ETFs typically track the price of gold or gold miners.
    • These ETFs give investors exposure to gold without having to buy, store, or resell it. A popular gold ETF is the iShares Gold Trust (IAU).
    • Gold mutual funds often invest in shares of companies that mine gold. Generally, the prices of mutual funds move with the market value of the companies they hold, whereas ETFs tend to reflect gold prices.
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs): You can also invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals inside of an IRA to preserve long-term wealth for retirement.

How to determine which gold dealer is right for you

Thoroughly research online gold dealers before deciding to conduct business with them. Avoid being scammed by working with reputable companies. Make sure to get the best value for your dollar.

Some considerations:

  • Does the company have a proven track record? Does the company have a good reputation and good customer reviews? How many metals transactions has the company completed?
  • Does the company have a brick-and-mortar headquarters? Although you may be working online with a company, confirm that it has a physical headquarters. This makes it easier to contact the company if you have problems. Generally, it’s best to steer clear of dealers that list only a P.O. box.
  • Is the company’s pricing transparent? Not all companies list metals prices on their websites. It may be necessary to call and speak to a representative to get the most current information; however, the company should respond quickly with reliable, transparent pricing.
  • Do they have a clear return and refund policy? Most companies give you a short window to send back your metals if you’re dissatisfied.
  • Is there a restocking fee? If so, how much?
  • Are their risk disclosures obvious? Like any investment, buying precious metals comes with risks. Top gold sellers clearly disclose the potential risks on their websites in a way that’s easy to find and understand.
  • Do they offer a variety of payment options? Most trusted gold and silver coin dealers usually accept payments by credit card, check, money order, wire transfer, PayPal, and Bitcoin.

How we determined the best online gold dealers

Our ratings for the gold dealers above were determined by reviewing 20 companies based on several factors. These factors included customer reviews, business details, customer experience, metal offerings, pricing transparency, shipping protection, buyback policies, and more.

Once a score was assigned, we then identified where each company stood out amongst its competitors to create our “best for” designations.